I used my "Get Out of the Kitchen Free" card early this week. I just couldn't convince myself to get started cooking. We went to P.F. Chang's, which is special to us as it was the location of our first date. Ironically, we met one of my "heros" Henri Landwirth, the creator of Give Kids the World where we had our second date.
This is the successful quinoa salad recipe I served to 25 people along with a baked potato bar last night.
Recipe for Quinoa Salad
2 cups Quinoa, uncooked
1 lb. grape tomatoes, halved
4 banana peppers, thinly sliced
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
3/4 can black olives, sliced
1 cup Italian dressing (homemade or store-bought)
Cook quinoa according to package directions and chill. (Can be made a day or two in advance.) Combine quinoa and vegetables in large bowl folding gently with a large spatula. Pour salad dressing over quinoa. Stir gently. Serve immediately. To marinate, chill 1-2 hours after adding dressing.
Recipe for Italian Dressing
3/4 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion pwder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Whisk ingredients together continuously while pouring over salad.
This photo is almost depressing. The first time I make a dish that looks almost exactly like the cookbook, and the photo turns out like this. However, I will not complain because Paul was taking care of Nora so I could get dinner on. You'll either have to find the magazine and see the real picture or wait because cauliflower is on sale again next week, and we'll have another picture taken.
In food processor, puree ingredients until smooth. (I use a smaller food processor and make the sorbet in batches, adding four strawberries, 3 slices banana, and a dash of sugar at a time. Each batch is slightly different. When it's all blended, I stir all the batches together.) Pour into freezer-safe bowl, cover and freeze. Garnish with fresh mint.
Varieties: Use orange juice instead of water. Blend the mint right into the sorbet. Substitute lemon juice for banana. Take out any frozen bag of mixed fruit and blend away!
This is another one of my mother's popular recipes. She makes her own ranch dressing. Because it doesn't have a strange aftertaste that sometimes comes with buttermilk ranch, isn't as salty, and can be made dairy-free, it's quite popular. In fact, I know people who don't like ranch dressing at all who each this dressing. It also works great as a dip. The dip in the photograph was slightly thicker because I didn't add milk due to known food allergies of the guest of honor.
Recipe for Ranch Dressing a la Claire
1 C mayonnaise
1 t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
¼ t celery seed powder
dash red pepper
1 t lemon juice
½ t sugar (optional)[I don't ever add this.]
1 t sweet basil, dried
2 t parsley, dried
1 t chives, dried or fresh
¼ t salt or to taste
¼ C milk or ½ C milk (optional or soy, if preferred)
Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, and dry ingredients. Add ¼ cup milk for dip or ½ cup milk for salad dressing.
For 1,000 Island Dressing: Add ¼ cup dill pickles, finely chopped and 1 tablespoon ketchup.